A Pearl in Paradise_Yalong Wan

Written by Jan 3, 2009 02:23
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Sand, sea and sky

Dark clouds drift across an otherwise clear blue sky. The stiff afternoon sea breeze pumping in off the South China Sea hustles dark clouds before it. Rain threatens, but never delivers. The beach is long and straight, the sand is fine and white, the water is clean and clear and the crowds are nowhere to be seen. While there are other more inaccessible beaches in southern Hainan of a similar caliber, Yalong Wan 亚龙湾 is by far the easiest to visit. Asian Dragon Bay is home to almost all of Sanya’s five star International Hotels and at its premium during Spring Festival.

I need look no further for my piece of paradise. Between the five star international hotels clustered at either end of the bay with their semi private absolute beach frontages is a quiet stretch of no mans land with two smaller boutique resorts across the road. Palm thatched umbrellas and timber deck chairs are free for hotel patrons. To avoid overexposure to the sun and sand blasting by the wind they are a comfortable alternative to the warm soft sand. Just like any hotel guest I am able to hang out here and enjoy several hours relaxing, swimming, reading and people watching as small groups or couples wandered by.

Watch out Hawaii

Often compared with Hawaii, that infinitely-popular surfing mecca in the Pacific Ocean, Hainan has embraced Hawaii’s iconic floral surf shirt. Never doing things by halves, matching shorts and hats have been added to the ensemble with ‘his and her’ outfits a popular choice, not to mention something for the child. Looking like military fatigues or pajamas, couples, families and even whole tour groups descend on the beach in these comfortable and co-coordinated outfits looking more like a peace corpse invasion on their way to a pajama party or a beach luau.

Almost every conceivable water sport is available for hire along the beach from simple floats, paddle boats, jet skis, sailboats, and windsurfers, to para-sailing and ‘the bubble’. Enthusiasts are zipped inside perhaps two at a time while the clear plastic bubble bobs and rolls around on the water all the while tethered to the shore for safety. Roped off swimming areas are patrolled by lifeguards giving those who cannot swim some peace of mind. The lifeguard would prefer that everyone swam in the netted areas but they can readily be ignored while swimming.


Not into water sports? Then try soccer or beach volleyball. While the bulk of day visitors to the beach head for the pier and public facilities on the northern end there is plenty of room to hit the sand and still feel like you are almost the only person on the beach. Just a handful of well covered ladies in long sleeves and conical hats selling strings of pearls, prospect for trade but they are very polite and non intrusive. Yalong beach is also host to ‘self-defense’ classes for international guests, mostly women of course, conducted by young and athletic male instructors.

Looking for something more secluded and isolated? Take a look off shore at the small and picturesque island with a regular ferry service from the pier. Dive and snorkeling tours also operate from the pier. Souvenir and food stalls are plentiful as are tourists. Just out of sight beyond the northern headland is yet another of Sanya’s Naval bases.

Tee off

If your game is golf, then Yalong Bay is paradise. The bay is home to one of two stunning world-class golf courses in Sanya. What could be more pleasant than an early morning or late afternoon 18 holes beneath the gently swaying coconuts and a cool sea breeze? All this is just a short walk from your choice of international standard beachfront hotels and resorts, many of them offering tailored package tours for their domestic and international guests.

Getting there and away: from Sanya 三亚and Dadonghai 大东海
Bus stop outside Dadonghai’s Summer Plaza (Night Food Court and good general shopping)
Double-Decker Tourist Bus or any of the local buses going that way Y5. 30mins each way

Avoid the car park and beach entrance close to these southern resorts.
There is an entrance fee levied here.
Bus does a loop to the south of the beach before heading north, stopping at all the big resorts before arriving at the terminus opposite the pier. Get off at the pier and walk back or jump off outside one of the smaller hotels on the left side of road, cross the parklands and you’re on your own private beach.
Public toilet facilities are at the back of the car park opposite the beach near the bus terminus.
Hail bus for return trip.

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Comments (1)


Feb 24, 2009 04:58 Reply

SHUBH said:

Inspite of its natural charm, Asian Dragon Bay is not so popular among the occasional tourists, only frequent or professional tourists know about this place. Recently added sporting activities have increases its charm multiple times. Thanks for giving so much specific details.

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